A BET AGAINST FATE
THE BABBO STORY
A bet against fate” is a reportage about my father Alessandro’s lung transplant. The project was born in 2012, when my father was diagnosed with degenerative pulmonary emphysema. In 2014, he was stricken with severe pneumonia and lived three months in the hospital, resulting in a physical collapse. His lungs can no longer support his body and he begins 24-hour oxygen therapy at home. The daily routine is disrupted and we find ourselves forced by the disease to live, at a distance, the joys and fears of a father-son relationship. After a few visits to various specialized Italian centers, Pavia Hospital declares my father transplantable and, through the transplant list, begins the search for a lung. A wait that will last six long years. On April 30, 2020, at 7:03 p.m., the head physician of the hospital in Pavia calls my father giving him the happy news that the new lungs would arrive in Pavia that same night. The limitations of covid-19 prevented us from going with him to the hospital. So in the middle of the pandemic, between happiness and panic, he left alone in an ambulance. Alone in the face of the great test of his life. The following day, after a 13-hour operation, the hospital called me declaring the operation successfully completed but that we would have to wait for him to wake up, after a few days, to be able to evaluate the actual values. A miracle! But the bet was not over. My father woke up and the situation became more complicated. A second operation was performed and he fell asleep again for a few days. Alessandro lives 7 months in the hospital, between life and death, with complications due to bacteriological infections and movement problems. In the first three months the limitations of the pandemic prevented me from entering the hospital so we communicated by video call. Also because of the tracheotomy, which prevented him from speaking, we used signs and writing to communicate and told each other about our days. On July 20, 2020 with great joy we met again in the hospital and hugged each other from a distance. In November 2020 the clinical condition improves and he starts physical therapy in a new hospital. On December 30, 2020 he goes home without oxygen and starts a new life with his son. On August 30, 2021, after 8 years, he enters the water, with the sun on his skin, breathing sea air. Captions 1 Degenerative pulmonary emphysema, Piombino, Italy, 2012. 2 My father and I in our old house. More than a father, he was always an older brother who helped me with advice and life experiences. Piombino, home, 2013, Italy. 3 A bet against fate, Piombino, Italy, 2012. 4. Crocetti 363, Hospital, Massa, 2014. 5 Babbo. In 2014, he is stricken with severe pneumonia and lives three months in the hospital, with a subsequent physical collapse. Grosseto, 2014. 6 View from the window. Alessandro is back but because of he can’t get out. The sea is the only antidote. Piombino, 2015. 7 Mood, Piombino, 2015. 8 Waiting 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020. After a few visits to various Italian hospitals, the Hospital in Pavia declares my father transplantable and, through the transplant list, begins the search for a lung. A wait that will last six long years. 9 The leash. For 7 long years Alessandro follows an oxygen therapy treatment 24 hours a day. Piombino, 2019. 10 Hope. In 2020 Alessandro is 60 years old, an age beyond which transplantation is not possible. So in front of the sea he thinks about his uncertain future with the fear of not making it. In the meantime, the Covid-19 pandemic has broken out,Piombino,2020. 11 On April 30, 2020, at 19:03. The journey begins. Piombino-Pavia, 2020. 12 The memory, Piombino, 1993. 13 The hospital solitude, Pavia, 2020. 14 The encounter. After 3 months in the hospital, I manage to see my father. Pavia, 2020. 15 Scars, Piombino, 2020. 16 The return home. Piombino, December 30, 2020. 17 Happy birthday to you. Celebrating your 61st birthday to celebrate life and hope. Piombino, 16 February, 2021. 18 We are back. Piombino, 2021. 19 Rehabilitation and sea air, Piombino, 2021. 20 The Breath of the Sea and the Wind. Piombino, 2021.